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Fluride And Its Effects On Health And The Environment

1767 words - 8 pages

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found world-wide and is primarily used for dental health. Fluoride has been praised for being one of the top successes in dental health throughout the century. Today more than ever, fluoride is used in many households’ commodities with or without the knowledge of the user. In the 1940’s fluoride was added to the water supply in order to lower tooth decay. Before the 1940’s not one common household item contained fluoride. In the past 60 years, the use of fluoride has drastically increased. Today fluoride is found in mouth wash, tooth paste, water and bottled tea to name a few. Studies have shown that fluoride in large doses are not only damaging to human health, but also to the environment.
Fluoride research began in Colorado Springs, Colorado, when a young dentist by the name of Frederick Mckay opened a dental practice in 1901. He noticed that some residents of the community had severe browning of their tooth enamel that wasn’t recorded in any dental books. After a few years of research, he suspected that the cause behind the browning was due to water. In 1923, Mckay met with parents of children in Oakley, Idaho, who had the same peculiar browning of teeth. These stains began to appear shortly after a water pipeline had been constructed to supply the city with fresh water from a spring. Mckay analyzed the water and found nothing suspicious, but advised the city to cut off the water supply from the pipeline anyway. Within just a few years the browning on children’s teeth began to stop, leading Mckay to concluding that the problem was because of the water. In 1931 after extensive studies and with the help of research conducted by the chief chemist of The Aluminum Company of America, H. V. Churchill, studies concluded that high levels of water-borne fluoride was the cause of the brown tooth enamel. Later studies that were conducted concluded that in low doses of fluoride (about 1 part per million) could prevent tooth decay in maturing children. Thus began the fluoridation process of the water supply (National Institue of Dental and Craniofacial Research: The story of Fluoridation).
From the 1950’s to 2004 the number of Dental Fluorosis cases in the United States has increased from 10% of children in fluoridated communities, to 41% of all children in America between the ages of 12-15 (Michael Connet: Dental Fluorosis in the U.S. 1950-2004). Dental Fluorosis is a defect in tooth enamel that is caused by over exposure of fluoride. Although supporters of fluoride claim that it reduces tooth decay and should be used to promote oral health; studies of the effects of fluoride show that there is no such benefit and in some cases produce worse tooth decay. The Journal Fluoride Vol. 27, 1994 reported that a study conducted in New Zealand over the span of 14 years; 98% of children had no dental benefit from fluoridation. On the contrary, non-fluoridated communities’ children showed slightly...

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